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WCQS’ Music Director Dick Kowal Retires. New Afternoon Classical Music Host Named


Dick Kowal knows a lot about music. He can draw you into a special moment of artistry by one of the world’s great orchestras during one of his broadcasts on WCQS Radio or informally connect with a talented local musician who’s about to perform live on Friday @ 2.

After three decades of service to public radio audiences in Western North Carolina, Blue Ridge Public Radio’s Music Director will retire at the end of the month with his final broadcast on Friday, April 28.  Though he has a lot planned for his retirement, he’s agreed to continue as the recording engineer and producer of broadcast concerts by the Asheville Symphony, which have been a staple on WCQS.

Reflecting on his career Kowal said, “It’s been my honor to work with a truly dedicated and capable staff. They’re a group of people who believe deeply in the mission of public radio and who will continue to lead the station in fulfilling that role.”

As WCQS’ Music Director, Kowal has worked closely with WDAV, the all classical public radio station serving the Charlotte market from Davidson, NC, to produce the very successful Open Air Brevard series.   That relationship has brought the two stations together in a unique, new partnership. “While there’s no replacement for Dick Kowal," said WCQS’ Program Director Barbara Sayer, “we’re very pleased that WDAV’s Joe Brant will be our new afternoon classical music host. Long-time WCQS classical music host Chip Kaufmann will be heard Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.   ”

Commenting on the arrangement, WDAV General Manager Frank Dominguez said “We’ve enjoyed partnering with WCQS for the past few years. We look forward to sharing our expertise in classical radio with the station, and to serve the listeners of Western North Carolina.”

Joe Brant has a great love of classical music and will share it daily on his new classical music program produced especially for BPR. “I’m enthusiastic about being a classical music host on Blue Ridge Public Radio WCQS!” said Brant. “Sharing classical music with listeners is a privilege I still cherish after many years on the air and I look forward to assuming that role in the Asheville area.”

New WCQS Classical Music Host Joe Brant

Brant will be heard on weekdays from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm on WCQS beginning May 8th. Brant has been with WDAV since 1999, and has served as an announcer and producer, and as the station’s operations manager. In his spare time, he listens to jazz and “other stuff not as easily classified”. When music isn't there, literature usually is, along with non-fiction and commentary on contemporary political issues.

Listeners can congratulate Dick Kowal on his 30 years of service to WNC by sending an email to music@wcqs.org.